Woman Catches Future Husband Talking About Her to His Friends — and Shares the Video Weeks Before Wedding (Exclusive)

Athena Karvellas and Hunter Raymond tied the knot on April 26

<p>Courtesy of Athena Karvellas</p> Athena Karvellas and husband Hunter Raymond

Courtesy of Athena Karvellas

Athena Karvellas and husband Hunter Raymond

In March 2021, Athena Karvellas sat in her bed on FaceTime with her now-husband Hunter Raymond, whom she had met two months earlier, along with eight of his friends.

A little while into the conversation, the 23-year-old Allendale, New Jersey, native pressed the mute button, turned off her camera and went to the bathroom. When she came back a few minutes later, she was shocked to hear what the guys were talking about.

"There he was, just gushing over how he felt," Karvellas tells PEOPLE exclusively in an interview.

"I was so surprised. I knew how he felt about me because we had been talking for a while, but hearing that he was grateful for me warmed my heart."

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<p>Alexis DeLucia</p> Athena Karvellas showing off her engagement ring.

Alexis DeLucia

Athena Karvellas showing off her engagement ring.

Karvellas sat for 20 minutes listening to Raymond, 26, speak and took out her camera to record the special moment.

“Awwwww!” she recalls saying when she finally took herself off mute.

"He fell quiet after that; I think he was embarrassed. But here we are!" Karvellas says, noting how the two officially started dating in July 2021 and got engaged the following year.

"I have no idea what prompted him to start talking about it; I honestly don’t remember. But I do know his friends were so supportive, and most of those same friends were in our bridal party. It’s just so special to look back on," she adds.

The bride recently re-discovered the video on her phone. Ahead of the couple's wedding day on April 26, she decided to post it on TikTok for her friends to see. To her surprise, it went viral, garnering over 9.4 million views and 5,750 comments.

"It just makes me so happy that Hunter is getting the recognition that he deserves. He is such a wonderful man and deserves all the kind words he’s gotten from it," she says.

"We weren’t even dating yet at that point, so even if we didn’t work out, I knew it was something I could look back on to remind myself this is the kind of man that I deserve to be with and to not ever lower my standards!" she continues.

<p>Courtesy of Athena Karvellas</p> Athena Karvellas on Facetime

Courtesy of Athena Karvellas

Athena Karvellas on Facetime

Looking back at their relationship, Karvellas also says that she knew from the first time they met in person that Raymond was the one.

"I know that sounds cliché, but after spending time with him, I knew there were no upgrades! He was the perfect gentleman, and we instantly clicked," she says of the Medford, Massachusetts, native.

When the couple first met online in February 2021, Karvellas drove her car 13 hours to Tennessee to meet Raymond in person. But halfway through the drive, the engine blew out.

"The tow truck driver had to drive me 35 miles to the nearest car shop. I sat there for 8 hours in the middle of nowhere just for them to tell me my engine blew! A taxi service had to come get me and bring me 2 1/2 hours away, and Hunter came and picked me up at that halfway point to his apartment."

"So it wasn’t an easy journey 🤣 But so, so worth it," she says.

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